Near-record Burmese Python Caught in Everglades National Park

Burmese python (Python bivittatus) over 18 feet in Everglades National Park in July 2015    United States National Parks    Invasive species in Everglades National Park   National Parks of the World

The Burmese Python (Python bivittatus) Invades Everglades National Park

In July, University of Florida researchers captured a female Burmese python, measuring over 18 feet and weighing 133 pounds in the Everglades National Park. The Burmese python was first introduced to Florida through the pet trade, and during the last decade this invasive species has taken over the top predator spot in Everglades National Park, lowering populations of native small mammals and birds. This invasive species is threatening to permanently change the ecosystem of the Everglades National Park. Large Burmese pythons eat larger prey species found in the Everglades National Park, such as the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and potentially even the rare, critically endangered Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi).

Although this python species is relatively docility and easy to handle when young, it grows very rapidly and an adult Burmese python is a very powerful and potentially dangerous animal capable of inflicting severe bites and even killing a human being by constriction. Adult Burmese pythons also consume large amounts of food and can become expensive to keep resulting in some irresponsible pet owners releasing their pets into the wild. As a result, the importation of the Burmese python into the United States was banned in 2012 by the U.S. Department of the Interior for this reason.

In its native range in Southeast Asia (India, China, the Malay Peninsula, and some islands of the East Indies), the Burmese python can grow to 20 feet and is one of the five largest snakes in the world, along with the reticulated python (Python reticulatus), green anaconda (Eunectes murinus), African rock python (Python sebae), and the amethystine python (Morelia amethistina). The Burmese python is primarily a nocturnal rainforest dweller. A young python is equally at home in the trees as it is on the ground; however, as the Burmese python grows and becomes heavier, it spends more of its time the ground. The Burmese python is also an excellent swimmer and can stay submerged for nearly thirty minutes before surfacing to breath.

Although the Burmese python has been getting most of the media attention there are also a number of other invasive species of animals in Everglades National Park. More than 25 percent of all species of mammals, birds, reptiles and fishes in Southern Florida are now exotic species.

The following are just some of the exotic species that have been found in Florida:

Insects


Madagascan hissing cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa
European cricket (Acheta domesticus)

Fishes

pike killifish (Belonesox belizanus)
oscar (Astronotus ocellatus)
Asian swamp eel (Monopterus albus)
snakehead (Channa marulius)
peacock bass (Cichla ocellaris)
walking_catfish (Clarias batrachus)

Amphibians

Cuban treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis)
green house frog (Eleutherodactylus planirostris)
giant toad (Rhinella marina)
coqui (Eleutherodactylus coqui)

Reptiles

spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus)
African rock python (Python sebae)
amethystine python (Morelia amethystinus)
reticulated python (Python reticulatus)
green anaconda (Eunectes murinus)
common boa (Boa constrictor)
Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus)
green iguana (Iguana iguana)

Birds

spotted nothura (Nothura maculosa)
Abdim’s stork (Ciconia abdimii)
wooly-necked stork (Ciconia episcopus)
white stork (Ciconia ciconia)
black-necked stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus)
scarlet ibis (Eudocimus ruber)
griffon-type old world vulture (Gyps sp.)
white spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)
king vulture (Sarcoramphus papa)
sacred ibis (Threskironis aethiopicus)
Chilean flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis)
greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)
Mandarin duck (Aix galericulata)
Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
spot-billed duck (Anas poecilorhyncha)
white-cheeked pintail (Anas bahamensis)
Hottentot teal (Anas punctate)
Philippine duck (Anas luzonica)
Bar-headed goose (Anser indicus)
Bean goose (Anser fabalis)
Greylag goose (Anser anser)
Swan goose (Anser cygnoides)
Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata)
Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys)
Coscoroba Swan (Coscoroba coscoroba)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Whooper Swan (Cygnus Cygnus)
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
West Indian Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna arborea)
White-faced Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna viduata)
Orinoco Goose (Neochen jubatus)
Rosy-billed Pochard (Netta peposaca)
Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Great Black-Hawk (Buteogallus urubitinga)
Common Black-Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus)
Hook-billed Kite (Chondrohierax uncinatus)
Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Crane Hawk (Geranospiza caerulescens)
Harris’ Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus)
Chukar (Alectoris chukar)
Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus)
Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata)
Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus)
Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus)
Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris)
Common Peafowl (Pavo cristatus)
Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
Gray-necked Wood-Rail (Aramides cajanea)
Gray Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum)
Black Crowned Crane (Balearica pavonia)
Sarus Crane (Grus Antigone)
Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio)
Southern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis)
Rock Dove (Columba livia)
Inca Dove (Columbina inca)
Diamond Dove (Geopelia cuneate)
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)
Ringed Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia risoria)
White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica )
Masked Lovebird (Agapornis personata)
Peach-faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis)
Fischer’s Lovebird (Agapornis fischeri)
Yellow-crowned Parrot (Amazona ochrocephala)
Orange-winged Parrot (Amazona amazonica)
Red-crowned Parrot (Amazona viridigenalis)
White-fronted Parrot (Amazona albifrons)
Yellow-shouldered Parrot (Amazona barbadensis)
Lilac-crowned Parrot (Amazona finschi)
Festive Parrot (Amazona festiva)
Red-spectacled Parrot (Amazona pretrei)
Red-lored Parrot (Amazona autumnalis)
Mealy Parrot (Amazona farinose)
Turquoise-fronted Parrot (Amazona aestiva)
Yellow-headed Parrot (Amazona oratrix)
Yellow-naped Parrot (Amazona auropalliata)
Hispaniolan Parrot (Amazona ventralis)
Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)
Blue-and-yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna)
Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao)
Military Macaw (Ara militaris)
Red-shouldered Macaw (Ara nobilis)
Chestnut-fronted Macaw (Ara severa)
Yellow-collared Macaw (Ara auricollis)
Orange-fronted Parakeet (Aratinga canicularis)
Green Parakeet (Aratinga holochlora)
Blue-crowned Parakeet (Aratinga acuticaudata)
Scarlet-fronted Parakeet (Aratinga wagleri)
Mitred Parakeet (Aratinga mitrata)
Crimson-fronted Parakeet (Aratinga finschi)
Red-masked Parakeet (Aratinga erthogenys)
White-eyed Parakeet (Aratinga leucopthalmus)
Hispaniolan Parakeet (Aratinga chloroptera)
Peach-fronted Parakeet (Aratinga aurea)
Brown-throated Parakeet (Aratinga pertinax)
Dusky-headed Parakeet (Aratinga weddellii)
Orange-chinned Parakeet (Brotogeris jugularis)
White-winged Parakeet (Brotogeris versicolurus)
Yellow-chevroned Parakeet (Brotogeris chiriri)
Tui Parakeet (Brotogeris sanctithomae)
Greater Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)
Salmon-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis)
Tanimbar Cockatoo (Cacutua goffini)
White Cockatoo (Cacutua alba)
Burrowing Parrot (Cyanoliseus patagonus)
Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus)
Galah (Eolophus roseicapillus)
Red Lory (Eos bornea)
Chattering Lory (Lorius garrulous)
Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulates)
Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)
Black-hooded1 Parakeet (Nandayus nenday)
Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus)
black-headed parrot (Pionites melanocephala)
white-crowned parrot (Pionus senilis)
Rueppell’s parrot (Poicephalus rueppellii)
Senegal parrot (Poicephalus senegalus)
red-rumped parrot (Psephotus haemantonotus)
dusky lory (Pseudeos fuscata)
Malabar parakeet (Psittacula columboides)
moustached parakeet (Psittacula alexandri)
plum-headed parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala)
blossom-headed parakeet (Psittacula roseate)
rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri)
Alexandrine parakeet (Psittacula eupatria)
gray parrot (Psittacus erithacus)
green-cheeked parakeet (Pyrrhura molinae)
maroon-bellied parakeet (Pyrrhura frontalis)
maroon-fronted parrot (Rhynchopsitta terrisi)
rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematod)
ornate lorikeet (Trichoglossus ornatus)
scaly-breasted lorikeet (Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus)
violet touraco (Musophaga violacea)
Schalow’s turaco (Turaco schalowi)

Mammals

sambar deer (Cervus unicolor)
elk (Cervus elaphus)
Pallas’s mastiff bat (Molossus molossus tropidorhynchus)
Mexican red-bellied squirrel (Sciurus aureogaster)
nutria (Myocastor coypus)
capybara (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris)
crab-eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis)
rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta)
vervet monkey (Chlorocebus aethiops)
squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus)
nine-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus)
feral pig (Sus scrofa)
jaguarundi (Herpailurus yaguarondi)

More videos about the Burmese python invading the Everglades National Park

18 Foot Burmese Python Captured In Everglades National Park

Burmese Pythons Swarm South Florida’s Everglades National Park

2012 Record-breaking Burmese Python in Everglades National Park

Everglades Invasives

Invasive Species of Florida

Pets Gone Wild

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.